It’s April 23rd – on this day in 1984 US Health Secretary Margaret Heckler announced that American researchers had identified the virus (initially LAV in France and HLTV-3 in the US, now internationally known as HIV) that causes AIDS. It was hoped a vaccine might be at the human testing phase within two years.
There’s still no vaccine, but the development of antiretroviral medications (particularly the highly active combination, or HAART) has transformed HIV/AIDS management beyond recognition for those of us who cared for positive patients in the eighties and early nineties.
In 950 days we can make a change, too. Not on the same scale, not with the same significance or effect (see, I do have a sense of perspective!) as the development of ART but still important for the health and wellbeing of our community. Tick tock, Mr Baillieu.